Well, this is just my two cents...It's good to look at a variety of sources when trying to look at the forecast for surf. I won't go into details, because the info is out there. However, what I have noticed about Magic Seaweed-at least in the WB/CB area, is that they usually under call it surf wise. So, when they are calling for actual surf, there is good chance they are accurate...especially if combined with similar forecasts from other sources.
I have been wondering how to compare one location to another as well. When you read the travel reports on Surfline they suggest that OBX, the Northeast, and North and Central FL are in a similar league but the CB/WB north to Cape Lookout are close behind. Delmava and SC/Ga are generally weaker than these areas. That seems to make sense as their coastlines are further east. It seems like the beach needs to be either an armpit or sticking out to get good swell. I have read several other sources that list the cape fear area as good surf for the east coast and in the same league as all the rest except perhaps the OBX. The OBX and Sabastian are the only place that are consistently ranked among the best spots on the east coast though I have found New Smyrna to be just as consistent. What surprises me is that Magicseaweed lists Holden beach as having a much higher size and consistency as WB/CB. This flies in the face of everything else I have read and heard and the predictions I see on swell info. I always thought the beaches near the SC border were more like SC/GA i.e. weaker surf than NC.
My experience is mostly in South Florida which I can assure you is much worse than all the other places (although the water is wonderfully warm and clear). I have caught some great surf in Central and Northern FL as well as WB. The washout is not bad but can be small. I found Tybee Island to be mushy, lame and muddy. I've caught great surf in WB and haven't been skunked yet. The OBX I found bigger than the other places but also rougher with intimidating shorebreaks.
It would be great to hear from people who have lived throughout the east coast to get an idea of how they would rank the different areas.
Being from SFla I've learned to have fun in the small messy waves, and the choppy disorganized crap as well. Does WB get at least small messy waves or are the bad days like Lake Carolina?
Last edited by Waveskier; Feb 10, 2010 at 10:14 PM.
Well, I know I am chiming in a bit late and have enjoyed reading these posts. Things like this are always good discussion....But when it comes down to it......we surf when we get it....enjoy what we have when we have it.
As far as EI/AB.....Don't they also face almost directly south as well....which I would imagine helps them pick up swell...combined with what someone else said about them sticking further out. The bottom countours of the ocean also have alot to do with ridable surf as well...at least power and shape. Ever notice how we will get some fun surf in WB that isn' what we exactly hoped for, yet if you were in CB on some of the same swells, or see the photos on surfcarolina's web page that were barreling left and right? The ocean gets deeper quicker after the sandbars...thus pushing harder and making it stand up better...Which I think is why CB holds long period swell alot better than WB....
CORRECT SIR.. bathymetry has alot to do with it. look at the water depth off puerto escondido, mexico, or playa hermosa, CR...
Even look at the water depths off of WB and then off of a SC beach. All the sediment dumping from the Cape Fear river and settling off the SC coast is the main reason why it's always significantly smaller there.